What Goes With Spanish Rice? 27 Dish Ideas

What Goes With Spanish Rice
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Spanish rice, also referred to as Mexican rice, is a Mexican side dish made of white rice, tomato, garlic, and onion, but it can also contain other ingredients such as peppers and carrots. Spanish rice is considered a side dish, but since it is so versatile and rich, it can quickly become the main meal, requiring sides. So, what goes with Spanish rice? 

Spanish rice pairs well with chicken, ground beef, pork chops, shrimps, lobster, tacos, vegetable mix, grilled vegetables, mushrooms, chips, and salsa. Also, it goes well with coleslaw, pureed beans, green beans, baked potatoes, grilled cheese, bread, and fresh salads (such as green salad, corn salad, or Caprese). 

Spanish rice is delicious yet non-restrictive in terms of pairing. You can serve it as a main dish and pair it with something lighter or serve it as a side to another meal. In the following paragraphs, I will explain how to combine Spanish rice as a side dish, the main dish, and from the aspect of Spanish and Mexican local cuisine.

What Sides Go With Spanish Rice?

Since Spanish rice is mainly conceptualized as a side dish, it isn’t very spicy, so to combine Spanish rice as the main dish, you need to up the flavor and add your favorite spices. Some paprika, chili powder, or sauce will add a distinct flavor and make it more impressive. 

Rice, in general, is like a blank canvas, so as the main dish, it pairs nicely with various sides. You can pair it with vegetables, salads, or cheeses. 

Vegetable Mix

Spanish rice and sautéed vegetable mix is an excellent vegetarian solution. You can steam some broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots to soften them up and then transfer them into a pot where you can add corn and peas, season everything to your liking and enjoy.

Grilled Vegetables 

Grilled vegetables are always a good idea, no matter what you need them. Spanish rice has onions and tomatoes inside, so you can throw some tomato and onion slices on the grill or go with new vegetables. Grilled bell peppers with zucchini and eggplant will do nicely here, as well as scallions. 

The best thing about grilled vegetables is that the seasoning possibilities are endless, so you can flavor them as you want. 


Any kind of mushroom will do. You can grill, fry, or simmer the mushrooms and add garlic and parsley to them; you’ll get an incredibly tasty result. Rice and mushrooms go excellently together, and many times they are two ingredients of a single dish; that’s how compatible they are. 

What Goes With Spanish Rice

Chips and Salsa 

Since Spanish rice is a Mexican dish, it would be a shame not to mention chips and salsa on this list. I’d recommend corn flour chips, such as Doritos or off-brand Doritos, dip them into the salsa and take a spoonful of Spanish rice. The crunchiness of the chips and the freshness of the salsa mixed with the fluffy and granny Spanish rice will be an actual flavor bomb in your mouth. 


Spanish rice and coleslaw go hand in hand, creating a perfect balance between their flavors. The fresh and zesty coleslaw pairs perfectly with the soft and smooth Spanish rice, so if this is your combination, prepare to feel many tastes simultaneously. 

Pureed Beans 

I recommend canned red beans for this side dish, as they have the perfect flavoring and consistency, and you’ll save a lot of time. Once you’ve blended the beans, add some garlic and parsley, and enjoy. Pureed beans are very common in Mexican cuisine, so don’t worry about their compatibility with Spanish rice; they are perfect companions. 

Green Beans 

Green beans are known for their mild bitter and delicious flavors and also have a delightful mild crunch, which will pleasantly surprise your palate when you combine them with your Spanish rice. Cook them as you like, grille, baked, or wok-fried (which is what I recommend), and enjoy. 

Baked Potatoes 

If there’s a time when you shouldn’t worry about those extra carbs, it’s now, as they are worth it. Your bowl of Spanish rice will become even tastier when you combine it with a side of baked potatoes. It isn’t as much about the taste as the textures. 

The grainy and soft rice will mash up perfectly with the soft and creamy potatoes, which will produce a texture similar to rice pudding, but much tastier. 

Grilled Cheese 

Grilled cheese and Spanish rice may be just what you want if you like combining opposing flavors. The salty and tangy grilled cheese will enhance the tender and subtle rice flavor, giving you mouth-watering sensation words cannot describe.


All kinds of bread. Flatbread, pita bread, cornbread, sour bread, focaccia, cornbread, cottage bread, you name it. Just like with the baked potatoes, here, too, the carbs are worth it. 

What Meat Goes With Spanish Rice?

To preface this section, I must say that Spanish rice and meat are perfect companions. The Spanish rice flavor and consistency go hand in hand with many types of meat cooked in various ways. 


Since chicken goes with almost everything imaginable, there’s no reason for it not to go with Spanish rice. The whole chicken, but especially chicken breast, is an excellent addition to Spanish rice. 

Sherd the breast put the pieces into your rice bowl, and enjoy the combination. You can roast or broil the chicken or simmer the chicken cuts with some sauce. 

Ground Beef 

Throw a few ground beef pates on the grill and watch them sizzle. Place them on top of your rice and possibly pour some sauce on them, whichever sauce you like. Combining a burger with nice home-cooked rice will stimulate and satisfy your taste buds.


I’d recommend baking some pork ribs and placing them over your bowl of rice. Let the rice absorb the pork grease, giving it a slightly meaty flavor. You will get a final result as you wouldn’t have believed. 


Prawns, shrimp, lobster, crawfish, octopus, tuna, you name it. They all pair up nicely with Spanish rice. The trick is to season them properly before cooking them. However, if you don’t know much about cooking seafood, I’d recommend you stick to the other types of meat I mentioned until you’re properly informed. 

What Goes With Spanish Rice

What Main Dishes Go With Spanish Rice?

Spanish rice is a side dish, so you can imagine how well it pairs with several main dishes. 

Seafood Cocktail 

As I already mentioned, Spanish rice pairs up great with seafood. It is an excellent addition to a cocktail of steamed prawns, shrimp, and crawfish. Also, it pairs perfectly with seared tuna or grilled carp. 

Glazed Chicken 

As delicious as it is, you cannot have glazed chicken with no side dish, so I’d recommend Spanish rice as its companion. Don’t look any further place your glazed chicken cuts over your rice bowl and let them do their magic. 

Pulled Pork Tacos 

Spanish rice has been known as a great addition to tacos. I chose pulled pork tacos because they are richer and more flavorful than pulled chicken tacos, which tend to be a bit drier. 


As meaty and as juicy as fajitas are, they are perfect without adding anything to them. That’s why we will need a new word to describe their taste when mixed with Spanish rice. This combines the best elements in Mexican cuisine, and you won’t regret this decision. 

Sote Stroganov

This may sound a little unusual in theory, but the result is unbelievable in practice. Mixing Russian and Mexican dishes seems very far-fetched since they are so much different, but Sote Stroganov and Mexican rice somehow makes sense. 

Sote Stroganov has a very rich flavor and a very flavorful sauce, so adding Mexican rice to that equation will result in incredibly rich-tasting rice combined with the delicious meat and juices of the main dish. 

Cottage Meatloaf 

At first sight, cottage meatloaf and Spanish rice have nothing in common, but if we look more closely, cottage meatloaf is nothing more than ground meat combined with sauce and topped with cheese; what’s more Mexican than that? So a ball of Mexican rice will add nicely to the juicy slice of cottage meatloaf. 

What Vegetables Go With Spanish Rice?

Spanish rice goes with a large variety of vegetables in many forms- grilled, fresh, or baked. 


Tomatoes are, of course, the most obvious solution since there are tomatoes in Spanish rice. Tomatoes in any form, shape, or size will do the trick here. You can even combine grilled, fresh, and dried tomatoes for this dish. 

What Goes With Spanish Rice

Bell Peppers 

Usually, the color of the bell pepper indicates its use, but Spanish rice seems to go with all of them. Therefore, choose your favorite color and enjoy the taste. You can have the bell peppers fresh, grilled, baked, or even fried. 


Whether you have it alone or in the form of a salad, your Spanish rice will become even richer with the zucchini. The zucchini is such that it provides texture and flavor without overwhelming the dish. You can combine the zucchini with another vegetable or cream cheese or have it plain.


Delightfully bitter with a recognizable texture, grilled eggplant will add flavor and texture to your Spanish rice. You can also add a clove of garlic and a few drops of olive oil, and there you have it, an easy, cheap, and delicious salad. 


Whether you place a few carrot strips on the side of your plate or steam or bake the carrots, you will enjoy what they offer. You can also have pickled carrots with your Spanish rice, which is an even better option. 


Just chop some cabbage and have it as it is, fresh and crunchy, on top of your bowl of Spanish rice. You can also turn it into a salad by adding some vinaigrette, salt, pepper, and olive oil.  


The fresh, crunchy, and watery cucumber will be a great side to your Spanish rice. It will give it some extra texture and freshness, though it won’t impact the flavor much. Still, if you season the cucumber and turn it into a salad, you’ll get some zest and edge.